It is chilled water stilled for warming in his mouth
to neither quench a need nor slack a present thirst.
Instead, he spits it to rust red oxide for a paled shade
he etches onto limestone…death art…dry frescoed
deep within her tomb where he drafts windowed staging
for her afterlife…anneals gold blue red green radiance
on her ointment jars…her ankh…her amulet…with a reed
mashed tip he softens with his teeth.
There in drifting mote shafts he outlines a dream sphere
for inhabitance at some future flooding of the Nile.
He furnishes it angled…ethereal mid-air float suspend
into plane geometry of a desert math heedless
of the slipping one world to the next.
Illustration: Stele of Princess Nefertiabet
Old Kingdom Egyptian, 2550-2565